Though the strong majorities of Americans who support marriage equality and equal federal benefits for gay couples celebrated today’s historic Supreme Court rulings, several prominent conservatives reacted with fear and fury. Though the conservative establishment (by in large) had little to say about the marriage equality cases, the vitriol that came from these particular conservatives stood out:
Rand Paul and Glenn Beck worry about Muslims and animals: In a video captured by Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the purportedly libertarian Senator and popular talk show host worry about a host of bizarre “logical” consequences of the moves toward marriage equality, with Beck asking “who are you to say that, if I’m a devout Muslim, I come over here and I have three wives, who are you to say if I’m an American citizen that I can’t have multiple wives?” Paul nodded, saying “people take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?…I’m kinda with you…we should not just say ‘oh, we’re punting on it, marriage can be anything.”
The list goes on and on while Another fiery reaction — outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann’s declaration that “no man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted” — didn’t have quite the intended impact. “Who cares?” responded House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), when asked for comment on Bachmann’s outburst.
In order to retain the values of the Koran, one must go beyond the literal meaning of the text, says British Islam scholar Dilwar Hussein. Instead, Muslims should try to interpret the dynamic of change of early Islam and apply that to modern times and conditions. An interview by Jan Kuhlmann
With your project “New Horizons” you want to promote reform and new ideas within Islam. With what aim?
Dilwar Hussain: We feel that not enough is happening in terms of promoting ideas that are more open and more progressive, ideas that speak to the reality of Muslim life in Europe. One of the most obvious examples is gender equality. Over the last 10 or 15 years, the Muslim discourse has claimed that when you go back to the foundations of Islam you can find references that are emancipatory of women.
Taking that point of view, some Muslims have argued that Islam has always had a positive approach towards gender equality, that it’s all about tradition and culture. And once we’re able to move away from traditional Muslim cultures we can find a European practice of Islam that will be egalitarian and equal. I think that is okay at one level, but it is not enough.
10 May 2013
The Supreme Court has rejected the motion presented by the city of Lleida to ban the burqa in public buildings. The council delegation had declared last March 22, their intention to go to the Supreme Court, as in their point of view, the banning of the burqa aims to preserve the equality between men and women and to defend the dignity of women, of law obedience, of beliefs, and of religious freedom.
The Supreme Court on the other hand stated that “the burqa ban is a limitation on the exercise of religious freedom.”
Tucked into the corner of a series of industrial parks in West Valley City, the Khadeeja Islamic Center’s golden dome and minaret might strike some passersby as out of place, even foreign to this American suburb where the dominant architectural features are grey box stores and white church steeples.
To be sure, the Islamic Center exterior looks arabesque. Completed in 2002, the mosque “was built to face Mecca” in Saudi Arabia, the center of the Islamic world, explains Muhammed Shoayb Mehtar, the imam who leads the thriving Islamic Center of Greater Salt Lake whose main gathering place is the Khadeeja mosque in West Valley City.
Yet what goes on inside the mosque is just as much Middle America as it is Middle East. The several hundred Muslims who gather here each Friday — the Muslim holy day — come together to worship, pray and socialize with their fellow believers, not unlike churchgoers and other believers across the country.
The Khadeeja Islamic Center also serves as an important gateway into American culture for this very international community, whose regular attendees hail from 30 to 35 different countries. Hundreds of African American, Asian, Middle Eastern, as well as blond-haired, blue-eyed Muslims entered the mosque’s front door, removed their shoes and performed the “wudu”— the ceremonial washing of hands, arms and face. They then sat on the mosque’s carpeted floor, “because we believe in equality in Islam,” explained Tariq Nossier, a former president of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake who now greets visitors at the mosque’s entrance. In dress as varied as their ethnic make-up — seersucker suits and ties, long white cloaks, even a Chicago Bulls basketball jersey and jeans — the community faced the mihrab, the niche at the center of the mosque’s eastern wall indicating the direction of Mecca.
8 June 2012
The largest Muslim body in the UK, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has welcomed the Queen’s 60-year reign. In a press release they praised the tolerance and equality that the Queen promoted in the country which helped the Muslim community to become a part of the society.
10 April 2012
A Dutch court has ruled in favour of the Rotterdam council, after it refused a Muslim lawyer a job for his refusal to shake hands with women. Mohammed Enait had applied for the job of client manager in the social services department, noting that he would not shake hands with women on religious grounds. He noted he would greet them in another respectful fashion.
When refused the position Enait brought the civil case against the Rotterdam council. The court ruled in favour of the council on the grounds that Enait was ignoring equality between men and women and on the basis that it would damage the relationship between the council and its clients.
Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus are accusing Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum of bigotry and ignorance after he said that “equality” is solely a Judeo-Christian concept.
“Where do you think the concept of equality comes from?” Santorum said on the campaign trail last Friday (Jan. 20). “It doesn’t come from Islam. It doesn’t come from the East and Eastern religions. It comes from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2012 — GOP presidential hopeful claims concept of equality ‘doesn’t come from Islam,’ but from ‘the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s leading Muslim civil liberties organization, today condemned “inaccurate and offensive” remarks by GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who said yesterday that the concept of equality “doesn’t come from Islam” or “Eastern religions.” He claimed equality comes from “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
SEE: Santorum Says Equality ‘Doesn’t Come from Islam’ But From ‘God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’
In a statement, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said:
“The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, is the best refutation of Mr. Santorum’s inaccurate and offensive remarks, which are unbecoming of anyone who hopes to hold our nation’s highest office. Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God and share religious traditions that promote justice and equality.
An Algerian man was denied French citizenship because “his idea of sexual equality is not that of the republic”, according to a high-ranking official quoted by French radio station Europe 1.
The man, who has not been identified, is married to a Frenchwoman, but does not allow her to leave the family home freely, it was claimed. The French constitution states that the government can refuse nationality or strip nationality for a “lack of integration”.
A spokesman for the interior minister, Claude Guéant, told the Guardian that the man had failed to accept the French way of life. “His behaviour showed a lack of assimilation into the French community; it was incompatible with the values of the French republic, notably in respect to the values of the equality of men and women.”
The decision came after far-right leader Marine Le Pen wrote to French MPs asking them to support an end to dual nationality, claiming it “undermines republican values.” President Nicolas Sarkozy is reportedly “very favourable” to ending dual nationality.
Lleida was the first Spanish town to propose a ban of the burqa, and now the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia has supported the veto. The Superior Court argues that the integral veil can “disturb the peace” of other citizens because it allows people to “hide their face” and this does not match the values of “Western culture” and “Spanish society” of equality between women and men. The Muslim association Watani, the one who presented the appeal to the Superior Court for infringement of fundamental rights in the first place, has already announced it will also appeal the ruling of the Superior Court. This ruling gives some reassurance and becomes a reference to other local councils to regulate these matters. So far, 13 municipalities have done so.